The real estate mafia might go bananas if they learn how 12 cents of land in Thrissur town has been turned into a banana farm by its owner and the residents association. Much to the amusement of passersby, the lush patch of green sits pretty in Marath Lane, MG Road – one of the busiest parts of the town, laden with ‘nenthra pazham’ and ‘chenkadali’ worth their weight in gold.
A dump yard until eight months ago, the plot had become a cause of worry in the neighborhood. The residents’ association decided to approach the owner, Pradeep Kumar, who lives in Mullassery, about 18 km from the town. He welcomed the idea of converting the plot into an organic farm. The land was handed over for farming free-of-cost. The returns from the endeavour go to the association as well.
The plot, a den of weeds and rodents, was cleared under the stewardship of association members Gopi, Sivadas, Madhu, and Manoj. The waste had to be removed using an earthmover. The land was then treated with mixtures of cow dung and ash and prepared for farming. The first round of crops were veggies – amaranthus, ladies finger, green chillies, brinjal, and tomatoes. The harvest was distributed among the households in the association in time for Vishu in April.
The taste of success inspired the team to try their hands at banana farming. The nearby households help with the irrigation of the farm with the water from their wells. Ambi Swamy, a member of the association who runs a catering business, supplies ash and other organic manure.
The mini farmland has certainly become a happy sight in the otherwise bustling MG Road. The proud farming team is all set to expand the agro initiative to other ‘waste lands’ in the area. The team has already started growing amaranthus and snake beans on the vacant spot near the DCC Office in Marath Lane.